President Muhammadu Buhari and some Muslim faithful on Friday attended the Jumma’at prayer in the Presidential Villa main Mosque, Abuja.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
The statement said that henceforth the President would observe most of the Jumma’at prayers at the Mosque in the Villa.
According to the statement, the President’s decision to observe the prayer in the Villa is to address “the avoidable hardships imposed on members of the public by road closures and other security measures which Presidential movements to the National Mosque necessitate“.
It said that Buhari would join the larger Muslim community for Friday prayers at the National Mosque occasionally.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that it was the first time the prayer, which was led by the Chief Imam of the Mosque, Istaz Abdulwaheed Suleiman, was conducted in the Villa.
Some adherents of the Islamic faith, who spoke to NAN after the 2-raka’at prayer, described the event as a welcome development.
Muhammed Labo, who participated in the prayer session, said that attending the Jumma’at prayer in the Villa would “reduce the stress that people go through in the town during Presidential movement“ to the National mosque on Fridays.
“For me, is a privilege to be among the first set of faithful to participate in the first Juma’at prayer session in the Presidential Villa.
“Now, the significance of this is that it is going to take away a lot of stress that people go through in the town during presidential movement because roads are closed and all that.
“Now with this prayer being held in the Villa, it is going to take away that stress from the people.“
Another participant in the prayer session, Malam Suleiman Muhammed, expressed gratitude to God for making it possible for him to be part of the Juma’at prayer in the Villa.
According to him, the Muslims in the Villa are happy with the development because it will enable them to spend more time at their duty posts on each Friday.
“I will say it is a great development; it is something we have been expecting for quite some time, but God in His infinite mercy made it possible this time around.
“So, we are happy that we are experiencing it in the villa, today.“
Cue out audio 2
Prior to his inauguration on May 29, the President had been performing his Jumma’at prayer at the National Mosque and the Mogadishu Barrack Mosque.